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rical career. When a boy, he left his parents and joined an itinerant company of comedians. In this situation, before he was eighteen years
of age, he was noticed by some gentlemen of Norwich, who spread such a favourable report of his talents, that the manager at that place sent him an invitation to join his company, with the offer of twenty-five shillings per week. As his salary had never before exceed nine or ten shillings, this invitation was accepted.
After performing a short time at Norwich, he, with his wife, whom he had just married, was invited to Bath, where he soon acquired the “ gale of favour," and for a considerable time was the principal favourite of the town. His fame at length reached the metropolis ; and Mr. Harris engaged him at Covent Garden.
His first appearance on that stage was in 1787, in the character of Archer. He was received with universal applause, and for some time had no competitor in the light and foppish characters of the drama. When Mr. Munden was engaged at this theatre, Mr. Bernard retired from London, and performed at Plymouth, Dover, and Guernsey. In a short time, however, he rned to Covent Garden, where he continued till 1797, when he came to America.
Mr. Bernard appears to have been held in high estimation in London ; and his secession from Covent Garden was deeply regret
ted by publick admirers as well as private friends.
During his residence in London he produ ced several dramatick entertainments, which met with approbation, One of these, called The Poor Sailor, or Little Beb and Little Ben, was written partly for the purpose of bringing forward a young person, whose talents Mr. B. thought were not properly estimateda While residing in Plymouth, he kept a vocabulary of sea-phrases, which he found of service in the composition of this piece. The songs, which the writer of this article is well assured were the entire production of Mr. Bernard, were printed and given away, at the doors of the theatre. They were highly, applauded ;, but, from the unwillingness of the publick to look favourably, on a man in the two-fold capacity of author and actor, they were attributed to some other pen, and the real author never received the credit which was justly his due. Mr. B. is likewise, the author of several fugitive pieces of poet, ry, which are now in the possession of the editor, and shall decorate some of the future numbers of the Polyanthos.
In 1793, a society called The Strangers at Home, was founded at Garrick's Head, which for “ wit, harmony, regularity and consequence,' eclipsed every club in London. Among the founders of it were Mr. Bernard and Mr. Fennell. A right reverend divine, Mr. Har.. ley, was, chaplain, and Mr. O'Keefe poet laureat, to the society. O'Keefe had enga.
ged to write a constitutional song ; but failing to produce it in season, the following was written at a few hours notice, by Mr. Bernard. CONSTITUTIONAL Song of the STRANGERS, AT
Consisting of a Catalogue of Plays and Farces.
School for Scandal will state in The Liar's gazette,
IX. The way to get married 'tis plain you have found, Yet Maids as they are all my senses confound; By Wives as they were fix your dress and your mind, And A Cure for the Heart-Ach we ever shall find.
X. Our Cholerick Fathers will melt and grow mild, When The Padlock of Hymen secures The Spoiled Child ; And The W1755 with Odd Ditties will new tune their
tliroats, When the sweetebild of Nature has sown her Wild Oats.
Man and wife we must never Cross Purposes play,
The last line of verses 5 and 15 have been lately altered, and verses 12 and 13 added, by the author.
Mr. Bernard's first appearance on the American stage was made
at New-York, Aug. 17, 1797, in the character of Goldfinch, in the Road to Ruin. He was engaged by Mr. Wignell, and at the opening of the winter campaign was introduced to the Phila. delphia audience in the characters of Ruttekin and The Liar. He continued at that place till the summer of 1803.
In the autumn of 1803, he was engaged by Mr. Powell, manager of the Boston theatre, He appeared in the character of Humphrey Gubbins, in the Battle of Hexham, and received from a brilliant audience the most unequivocal demonstrations of applause. His professional talents and reputable conduct in private life have recommended him to the publick favour.
Curiosity is fixed on the figure of men who have filled any unusual space in the publick eye. Mr. Bernard's person is of the middling size and well made, his complex. ion ruddy and hair dark. His great power in varying his features enables him, as, it were, to identify himself with the person he is to represent. To this the
compass of his voice and the accuracy of his ear greatly contribute ;, while his eye has the happy face ulty of looking the passion he means to express. To these advantages for forming an actor,